Information on the causes of a dull, dry coat in cats and dogs who had a shiny, healthy coat.
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What is Dull Coat?
When we see a dog or a cat with a shiny healthy coat, we regard it as a sign of health and vitality. However, without proper care - the coat of any animal may become lackluster, brittle and may even begin to fall out.
What Causes Dull Coat?
While many factors influence a healthy coat, nutrition is crucial. The right balance of protein, carbohydrates and minerals can go a long way to help keeping your pet’s coat healthy.
Although it may be cheaper to purchase generic brands of pet food, these brands may not contain high quality ingredients – and may not be the best choice for a shiny coat. Homemade pet foods (preferably using organic produce) contain essential minerals and nutrients. The skin of an animal requires these nutrients to produce natural oils to help keep the skin and hair follicles hydrated, moisturized and protected naturally.
Although you may not realize it, worms and internal parasites can sap vital nutrients from your dog or cat’s system – causing harm to his or her coat (as well as other, more serious health problems). Your vet should perform a fecal examination during a routine check up to look for worms.
Fleas and ticks can also wreak havoc on an animal’s coat. Severe itchiness will most likely lead to consistent scratching, hot spots and weeping skin, leading your pet’s coat to look ‘patchy’ and uneven.
Help for Dull Coat
For dogs and cats alike a healthy coat depends a great deal on proper grooming. To remove matted, tangled longer hair, you may try using a special comb. Grooming brushes will help to remove dead surface hair and dead skin cells, also helping to distribute the natural oil on the coat.
Having your pet’s hair shaved can sometimes be the only alternative when his or her coat is matted and tangled to the skin. Shaving can actually be a lot less painful than trying to get the knots and tangled loose. Once your pet’s hair is shaved, you can start with regular grooming as the new coat grows in.
More Information on Dull Coat
Tips for healthy, shiny coats:
- Bathe for your breed. Some pets need regular bathing while others may need it only periodically. Check with your vet on which routine is best, and pay attention to how your pet’s coat reacts to washing. Customize your bathing routine to suit your animal.
- If your pet has a particular skin condition such as dermatitis or eczema speak to a vet about a suitable grooming program as they may require special care.
- Always comb and brush your pet gently before bathing – as wet hair is harder to work with if it is tangled or matted.
- After bathing, always rinse your pet thoroughly. Even when it seems like the product is rinsed out; rinse again a few more times as soap residue will dull the coat and leave the skin feeling itchy (it may also be trapped in skin folds leading to problem skin.)
- Never use human shampoo or skin products on your animal. Human products differ in pH and may be designed to strip the hair shaft and skin of essential natural oils leaving your animal’s coat dry and flaky.
- Natural supplements such as Skin and Coat Tonic™ promote skin health and shiny, glossy coats